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March 10 — March 16, 2014

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Monday, March 10
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SYNOPSIS:
Rachmaninoff's Vespers ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 - 1943):
Vespers (All-Nght Vigil), Op. 37
USSR State Academic Russian Choir; Alexander Sveshnikov, cond.
Pipeline Music custom CD (from Amazon.com)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Rachmaninoff's Vespers

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1839 — American composer and organist Dudley Buck, in Hartford, Conn.;
1844 — Spanish composer and violinist Pablo de Sarasate, in Pamplona;
1892 — French composer Arthur Honegger, in Le Harve;
1903 — American composer and jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, in Davenport, Iowa;

Deaths:
1832 — Italian-born composer Muzio Clementi, age 80, in Evesham, England;
1870 — Czech-born composer and pianist Ignaz Moscheles, age 75, in Leipzig;
1910 — German composer Carl Reinecke, age 85, in Leipzig;
1991 — American composer Elie Siegmeister, age 82, in Manhasset, N.Y.;

Premieres:
1785 — Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K. 467, at the Burgtheater in Vienna, with the composer as soloist;
1837 — Mercadante: opera "Il Giuramento" (The Oath), in Milan;
1875 — Goldmark: opera "Die Königin von Saba" (The Queen of Sheba), in Vienna at the Court Opera (Hofoper);
1877 — Borodin: Symphony No. 2, in St. Petersburg, by the Russian Musical Society, Eduard Nápravik conducting (Julian date: Feb. 26);
1880 — Paine: Symphony No. 2 ("Spring"), at Sanders Theater in Boston, by the Boston Philharmonic, Bernard Listermann conducting; The following day, the orchestra of the Harvard Musical Association performed the same work downtown at Boston's Musical Hall, with Carl Zerrahn conducting;
1888 — Franck: symphonic poem "Pysché," in Paris;
1912 — Gliere: Symphony No. 3 ("Ilya Murometz") in Moscow (Gregorian date: Mar. 23);
1916 — Granados: "Intermezzo & Epilogue," from "Goyescas," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1922 — Loeffler: "Irish Fantasies" (Nos. 2, 3 & 5 only) for voice and orchestra, by the Boston Symphony, with Pierre Monteux conducting and tenor John McCormack the soloist;
1932 — Wallingford Riegger: "Dichotomy" for orchestra, in Berlin;
1952 — David Diamond: Quintet for clarinet and strings, at Town Hall in New York City, by clarinetist David Oppenheim, Nathan Gordon and Lillian Fuchs (violins), and Aaron Twerdowsky and Bernard Greenhouse (cellos);
1963 — Henze: opera "Il re cervo" (The Stag King), in Kassel at the Staatstheater; This is the 2nd version of Henze's opera "König Hirsch" which was first staged in an abridged version in Berlin on September 24, 1956; The complete original version of the opera was eventually staged in Stuttgart on May 7, 1985;
1964 — John Harbison: "Sinfonia," in Cambridge, Mass., with violinist Rose Mary Harbison and the Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard, Gregory Biss conducting;
1977 — John Harbison: "Diotima" for orchestra, in Boston, with the Boston Symphony, Joseph Silverstein conducting;


Tuesday, March 11
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SYNOPSIS:
Ruggles and Cowell anniversaries ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Carl Ruggles (1897 - 1971):
Sun-Treader
Cleveland Orchestra; Christoph von Dohnanyi, cond.
Cleveland Orchestra 75th Anniversary CD Edition 093-75

Henry Cowell (1897 - 1965):
Homage to Iran
Leopold Avakian, violin; Mitchell Andrews, piano; Basil Bahar, Persian drum
CRI 836

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Carl Ruggles
More on Ruggles
On Henry Cowell
An essay on Cowell's legacy

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1876 — American composer Carl Ruggles, in Marion, Mass.;
1897 — American composer Henry Cowell, in Menlo Park, Calif.;

Premieres:
1791 — Haydn: Symphony No. 92, conducted by the composer, at the first of his London concerts; Haydn had composed this symphony at the request of a French count in 1788-89, and presumably its first performance took place in Paris around that time; The symphony's nickname, "Oxford," derives from a July 7, 1791, performance conducted by Haydn at the Sheldonian Theater at Oxford University, where Haydn was awarded an honorary degree;
1830 — Bellini: opera "I Capuleti e I Montecchi" (The Capulets and Montagues), in Venice at the Teatro la Fenice;
1851 — Verdi: opera "Rigoletto," in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice;
1867 — Verdi: opera "Don Carlos" (1st French-language version in 5 acts) at the Paris Opéra;
1886 — Tchaikovsky: "Manfred" Symphony (after Byron), in Moscow (Gregorian date: Mar. 23);
1888 — Dvorak: Symphony No. 2 in Bb, in Prague; This symphony was composed in 1865;
1915 — Ravel: ballet "Ma Mère l'Oye" (Mother Goose), at the Paris Opéra; This orchestral score is based on an earlier Ravel work of the same name for two pianos;
1917 — Respighi: tone-poem "The Fountains of Rome," in Rome;
1929 — Colin McPhee: Concerto for Piano with Wind Octet, in Boston;
1999 — Corigliano: "A Dylan Thomas Trilogy," at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with soloists and the National Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;


Wednesday, March 12
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SYNOPSIS:
Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901):
Simon Boccanegra
La Scala Chorus and Orchestra; Claudio Abbado, cond.
DG 449 752

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On composer Giuseppe Verdi and his operas

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1710 — British composer Thomas Arne, in London (Gregorian date: March 23);
1837 — French composer and organist Alexandre (Felix) Guilmant, in Boulogne-sur-Mer;
1921 — American composer Ralph Shapey, in Philadelphia;

Deaths:
1628 — English composer John Bull, age c. 65 on March 12-13, 1628, in Antwerp;
1832 — Danish composer of German birth Friedrich (Daniel Rudolf) Kuhlau, age 45, in Copenhagen;
1937 — French composer and organist Charles Marie Widor, age 93, in Paris;
1955 — American be-bop composer and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, age 34, in New York City;

Premieres:
1726 — Handel: opera "Scipione" in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: March 23);
1857 — Verdi: opera "Simon Boccanegra" (1st version), in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice;
1898 — Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2, in Kiev (Julian date: Feb. 28);
1934 — Hindemith: "Mathis der Maler" Symphony, by the Berlin Philharmonic, with Wilhelm Fürtwängler conducting;
1943 — Copland: "Fanfare for the Common Man," by Cincinnati Symphony, Eugene Goosens conducting;
1964 — Britten: Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, in Moscow with the Moscow Philharmonic conducted by the composer, with Mstislav Rostropovich the soloist;
1965 — Lutoslawski: String Quartet, in Stockholm (Sweden), by the LaSalle Quartet;
1998 — Magnus Lindberg: "Fresco" for orchestra, by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducting;


Thursday, March 13
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SYNOPSIS:
Adamo at the opera ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Charles Ives (1874 - 1954):
The Alcotts, fr Concord Sonata
Anthony de Mare, piano
CRI 837

Mark Adamo (b. 1962):
Little Women
Houston Grand Opera; Patrick Summers, cond.
Ondine 988

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Mark Adamo
On his opera "Little Women"

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1700 — French composer and flutist Michel Blavet, in Besançon;
1860 — Austrian composer and music critic Hugo Wolf, in Windisch-Graz;

Deaths:
1842 — Italian-born composer Luigi Cherubini, age 81, in Paris;
1918 — French composer Lili Boulanger, age 24, in Mézy;

Premieres:
1744 — Handel: oratorio "Joseph and his Brethren" (Julian dater: March 2);
1797 — Cherubini: opera "Médée" (Medea), in Paris;
1845 — Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in e, Op. 64, by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Niels Gade, with Ferdinand David the soloist;
1861 — Wagner: opera "Tannhäuser" (Paris version), at the Théâtre Imperial de l'Opéra;
1947 — Messiaen: "Hymne" for orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Leopold Stokowski conducted;
1954 — Schoenberg: (unfinished) opera "Moses and Aaron," in a concert performance by the Hamburg Radio; The first staged performance took place in Zürich, Switzerland, on June 6, 1957);
1964 — Ernst Toch: Symphony No. 5 ("Jeptha - Rhapsodic Poem"), in Boston;
1976 — Babbitt: Concerti for Violin, Small Orchestra and Tape, in New York City;
1986 — George Rochberg: Symphony No. 5 (Commissioned for the sesquicentennial celebration of the city of Chicago), by the Chicago Symphony, with Sir Georg Solti conducting;
1992 — Peter Maxwell Davies: "Strathclyde Concerto" No. 5 for violin, viola and strings, at Glasgow's City Hall, by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by the composer, with soloists James Clarke and Catherine Marwood;
1998 — Mark Adamo: opera "Little Women" at Houston Opera Studio, with Christopher Larkin conducting;


Friday, March 14
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SYNOPSIS:
The Amazing Mr. Ornstein ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Leo Ornstein (1892? - 2002):
Piano Sonata No. 7
Janice Weber, piano
Naxos 8.559104

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Leo Ornstein
More on Ornstein

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1681 — German composer Georg Philipp Telemann, in Magdeburg;
1727 — Baptism of German composer and keyboard virtuoso Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, in Danzig (now Gdansk);
1804 — Austrian composer and conductor Johann Strauss, Sr., in Vienna;

Premieres:
1734 — Handel: anthem "This is the day which the Lord hath made" in London at the French Chapel of St. James's Palace, for the wedding of Princess Anne and Prince Willem, the Prince of Orange (Gregorian date: March 25);
1824 — Schubert: String Quartet in a (D. 804) in Vienna, by the Schuppanzigh Quartet; Published the following September, this was the only chamber work of Schubert's published in his lifetime;
1847 — Verdi: opera "Macbeth," in Florence at the Teatro della Pergola;
1885 — Gilbert & Sullivan: operetta "The Mikado," at the Savoy Theatre in London;
1963 — Simpson: Symphony No. 3, in Birmingham, England;
1975 — Ulysses Kay: Quintet Concerto for brass and orchestra, in New York City;
1976 — Paul Creston: "Hyas Illahee" for chorus and orchestra, in Shreveport, La.;
1986 — Harrison Birtwistle: "Earth Dances" for orchestra, at Royal Festival Hall in London by the BBC Symphony, Peter Eotvos conducting;
1996 — Leo Ornstein: Piano Sonata No. 6, at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, by pianist Marvin Tartak;
2000 — David Maslanka: Wind Quintet No. 3, in Columbus, Mo., by the Missouri Quintet;
2001 — Danielpour: Cello Concerto No. 2 ("Through the Ancient Valley"), by the New York Philharmonic, Kurt Masur conducting, with soloist Yo-Yo Ma;
2002 — Previn: Violin Concerto, by the Boston Symphony with the composer conducting and soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter;
2003 — Jim Mobberley: "Vox Inhumana" for live and prerecorded sounds, in Kansas City, by the NewEar ensemble.


Saturday, March 15
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SYNOPSIS:
King Louis XIII's "Blackbird" Ballet ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Louis XIII Roi de France (1601 - 1643):
Ballet de la Merlaison
Ancient Instrument Ensemble of Paris; Jacques Chailley, cond.
Nonesuch LP H-71130

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Louis XIII

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1835 — Austrian composer and conductor Eduard Strauss, in Vienna; He was the youngest son of Johann Strauss, Sr.;
1864 — Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist Johan Halvorsen, in Drammen;
1901 — American composer Colin McPhee, in Montréal, Canada;
1926 — American composer Ben Johnston, in Macon, Ga.;
1928 — American composer Nicolas Flagello, in New York City;

Deaths:
1842 — Italian composer Luigi Cherubini, age 81, in Paris;
1918 — French composer Lili Boulanger, age 24, in Mezy;
1942 — Austrian composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, age 70, in Larchmont, N.Y.;

Premieres:
1807 — Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 (first public performance), in Vienna, at a benefit concert conducted by the composer;
1885 — Franck: symphonic poem "Les Dijinns" (The Genies), in Paris;
1897 — Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 1 (Gregorian date: Mar. 27);
1908 — Ravel: "Rapsodie espagnole" (Spanish Rhapsody), in Paris;
1911 — Scriabin: Symphony No. 5 ("Prometheus: Poem of Fire"), in Moscow, conducted by Serge Koussevitzky and with the composer performing the solo piano part (Julian date: Mar. 2);
1981 — Stockhausen: opera "Donnerstag, aus Licht" (Thursday, from Light), in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala; This is one of a projected cycle of seven operas, each named after a day of the week;
1994 — Peter Maxwell Davies: "Chat Moss" (the name of a quagmire in Lancashire) for orchestra, in Liverpool by the orchestra of St. Edward's College, John Moseley conducting;
2000 — Corigliano: "Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan," at Carnegie Hall, by soprano Sylvia McNair and pianist Martin Katz; An orchestrated version of this song-cycle premiered in Minneapolis on October 23, 2003, with soprano Hila Plitmann and the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Robert Spano;


Sunday, March 16
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SYNOPSIS:
Massenet's "Meditation" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jules Massenet (1842 - 1912):
Meditation, fr Thaïs
Nigel Kennedy, violin; English Chamber Orchestra
EMI 57330

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Massenet
On his opera Thaïs

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1937 — American composer David Del Tredici, in Cloverdale, Calif.;

Deaths:
1736 — Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, age 26 (of consumption), in Pzzuoli;
1881 — Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (Gregorian date: Mar. 28)
1968 — Italian-born American composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, age 62, in Los Angeles;
1985 — American composer Roger Sessions, age 88, in Princeton, N.J.;

Premieres:
1735 — Handel: Organ Concertos Op. 4, nos. 2-3 (Julian date: March 5);
1750 — Handel: oratorio "Theodora," in London at the Covent Garden Theater; At the same event, the possible premiere of Handel's Organ Concerto Op. 7, no. 5, as well (Gregorian date: March 27);
1751 — Handel: oratorio "The Choice of Hercules" in London at the Covent Garden Theater; At the same event, Handel's Organ Concerto Op. 7, no. 3 premieres following Act II of a revival performance of Handel's cantata "Alexander's Feast" on the same program (Gregorian date: March 27);
1833 — Bellini: opera "Beatrice di Tenda" in Venice at the Teatro la Fenice;
1870 — Tchaikovsky: fantasy-overture "Romeo and Juliet," in Moscow, with Nicolas Rubinstien conducting (Julian date: Mar. 4);
1871 — Tchaikovsky: String Quartet in D, Op. 11, in Moscow, by members of the Russian Musical Society (Gregorian date: Mar. 28);
1879 — Dvorák: choral setting of Psalm No. 149, Op. 79, in Prague;
1888 — American premiere of the revised version of Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 ("Romantic"), with New York Philharmonic-Society conducted by Anton Seidl; In the preface to a book on Bruckner, the elderly conductor Walter Damrosch claimed he conducted the American premiere of this symphony (His memory played him false: Damrosch led the first American performance of Bruckner's THIRD Symphony;
1894 — Massenet: opera "Thaïs," at the Paris Opéra;
1938 — Martinu: opera "Julietta," in Prague at the National Theater;
1942 — Martinu: "Sinfonietta giocosa," for piano and chamber orchestra, in New York City;
2002 — Paul Schoenfield: "Nocturne" for solo cello, oboe and strings, by cellist Peter Howard, with oboist Kathryn Greenbank and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Gilbert Varga conducting.